Among the Spanish early adopters of American B-Western filmmaking were not only the Ro-Ma bros but also the Balcázar brothers, Alfonso (1926–1993), Francisco, and Jaime Jesús (born 1934). Alfonso and J. J. both worked as directors, Francisco was a producer. The first Balcázar Western, the Alfonso-directed Pistoleros de Arizona (censura: December 30, 1 BL), keeps what its commonplace title promises: it tells the banal story of some courageous individuals’ fight against a corrupt land baron and his henchmen. On the other hand, it is a technically well-made film and features a good cast: fan-favorite Robert Woods in his first Western role, omnipresent Fernando Sancho as a bumbling but not-yet-so-brutish saddle tramp, and Berlin-born actress Maria Sebaldt in her only Western role.
To all appearances, Sebaldt, who had played such iconic characters as Virginia Peng, the queen-pin of crime, in Hans Quest’s comic book adaptation Nick Knattertons Abenteuer. Der Raub der Gloria Nylon (1959), ruthless wrestler Anni Prasuhn in Erich Engels’s Grabenplatz 17 (1958) and Charley’s aunt in Charleys Tante (Géza von Cziffra, 1963), did not wish to repeat her Spanish Western adventure.
Alfonso’s Pistoleros de Arizona and Jaime Jesús’s Oklahoma John passed the Italian censura on the same day, December 30, 1 BL; but O. J. was released a little later, in March 1 AL. Both follow the same formula: German, Italian and Spanish production money, American leading man, German leading lady, rest of cast mostly Spanish actors, traditional B-Western plot. In Oklahoma John, a brave sheriff takes drastic measures to rid his town of its corrupt ruling elite. Yes, hypnagogic.